dangerous overlook


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This sign from the Grand Canyon really resonated with me today as I thought about the holiday season. Careful, careful.

In past holidays, I’ve tried to save the world and I’ve tried to nurture the world. I’ve spearheaded selling cookie platters to raise money for charity – baking and delivering over 1500 cookies each December for the past few years. I’ve planned Christmas School for homeschooling. I’ve hosted dessert parties to raise money. I’ve decided to knit for everyone. I spearheaded our family having an entirely handmade Christmas, right down to stocking stuffers.

This year, I’ve decided to save myself and nurture myself. I am not setting rules this year. While talking my sister down from freaking out about the amount of knitting she had to do and reminding her that she doesn’t actually have to knit for every single person, I actually pursuaded myself of the same thing. Those difficult to knit for people? They’re not getting knitting this year. I’m going to work on a sweater for myself in December instead. Yes, knitters, read that and be astonished.  I will knit a sweater for myself in December.

This year, I’m not selling baking.  The kids and Rainer could hardly believe that I meant it when I declared that I wasn’t going to be involved with baking and organizing the whole 1800 cookies thing.  In past years it gave me great joy and energy.  A kind of holiday Everest to plan for and climb.  But it’s become something less.  No longer a choice, it’s an expected obligation.

This year, I noticed my mind had put up a sign very much like the one in the photo.  Careful, careful.  So I’m not making ambitious plans.  My plan is simple and unambitious: to enjoy the season.  To have what I always try to give others: a slow holiday, mindfully enjoyed, a time of home and family and nestling together.

I’m feeling really relaxed. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to go count the stitches in my gauge swatch for the sweater and then read through the pattern.


10 thoughts on “dangerous overlook

  1. Barbara Rall says:

    Good for you! I’ve been doing this for years and the reduction in stress is just amazing. You’ll have fewer presents, but be more “present” to those you are close to. It’s a win, win. Have a wonderful holiday…

  2. Jen says:

    Good for you for setting limits! You deserve a break from the cookie mountain to be sure (and, if your clients are sad, point them in my direction–the Girl Guides are doing the same thing this year to raise money for a trip to Kenya and I think there is still time to place an order)

    I hope we get to chat soon! I missed you!

  3. Ann says:

    Good decision. I made much the same decision last year (and this year) and feel so much more relaxed and HAPPY about the season, rather than pressured. Only one knitted gift, which is nearly done, and then I’m back to knitting for me again.

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